Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12
What is “work out your salvation?”
Some may think this means we somehow earn our place in Christ or we use works to gain our salvation. Others think because of this passage we can lose our salvation. But that is not what is going on in the passage. This is about cultivating our faith, so we bring it to full effect. It also means to actively pursue our spiritual maturity.
Remember the context. This is all about to be more Like Christ, so we are cultivating our faith that he first gave to us. We are to be actively pursuing our spiritual maturity with a reverent awe for Christ and the responsibility of being His child. What this will do is give an energetic meaning to our lives, a purpose for our salvation (Psalm 2:11; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 7:15; Philippians 3:13-14).
Are you apprehensive at the prospect of display of your faith, like going out to witness? It is not about arguing or having answers; rather, it is being God’s display case. Because we are his product demonstrators showing off what you can have from the results of your salvation. So, you do not need to fear working out your salvation, we are just to obey God with deep reverence and gratitude.
We are all called to work out our faith, yet so few do because so few Christians actually respond to God’s call. Perhaps it is anxiety that holds us back; perhaps it is because we have seen so few results. The key is to see our call as to obedience and faith. This is about having a firm, trust relationship with Christ, who bridges, our gap of sin so we can have an intimate relationship with God, then show it off by the Fruit of the Spirit before we ever tell others about it!
Obedience precedes exhortation! We are to work out our faith and our lives in Him so we can be the net builders and fishermen He has called us to be (Matt. 4:19).
He is our awe and relevance; He is our motivation and reason. As God is working in us, other people will see His work in us, and, along with the work of the Spirit, we will be used to help compel them. What Christ has planted in us with faith; now it is time to learn how to put our faith to work.
The questions we need to ask ourselves are, what is our motivation?
Are we fruitful people because we feel guilty? Are we fruitful because our church is doing a big program and we do not want to be left out? Or, are we exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit, because are in synced in with Christ so it just oozes out? Because we love the Lord Jesus Christ and also people, and we want people to know about Him as we do?
Our motivations will unveil our sincerity.
And, if we do not have the right motivations, we will not be growing effectively. We will be insincere and thus ineffective because no one likes an artificial or insincere Christian. We will just be wasting our time and annoying other people; our faith and motivations must rest on what Christ has done for us. That is why this is so imperative for us to be learning about our Lord through His Word before we can venture on to how to live it out, because we must have the why, we must have something to say, and we must be honest and sincere.
We are to do our best to grow, witness, pray, evangelize, do missions, and put forth every effort we can to expedite His Word. And, as Christians saved by His Grace, we have to remember that we still need to repent, even though He paid it all, because we love Him and want to obey His decree.
The true Believer is the one who bases all his or her life-ALL OF IT-upon Christ as LORD, with full trust, assurance of faith, and obedience.
There is a big difference between “self-imposed” righteousness and obedience to righteousness. Then we are being His display, even if you never use words, you can be, really, truly witnessing with the words of our heart. God calls this beautiful; that is, to have “beautiful feet” to bring the Good News (Isaiah 52:7).
These are the marching orders from Matthew 28:19-20 to be identified in Hi, live it out and spread it out, like disciple, yet so few Christians ever do it; so few churches do it. What an extreme insult, we must be to Christ to ignore His call!